Fact Check


Has Shadowcrew charged $149.95 to your credit card?

Published April 23, 2013


Urban Legends Reference Pages: Inboxer Rebellion (Shadowcrew)


Claim:   Shadowcrew has charged $149.95 to your credit card for membership fees and a "3 pack of child porn CD."

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

From: "Shadow Crew"
Subject: Your card has been billed for $149.95

Your credit card will be billed at $22.95 weekly and free 3 pack of child porn CD is shipping to your billing address.
To cancel your membership and CD pack please email full credit card details to
Ready to enjoy all types of underage porn? We have the best selection for every taste! Click the secret link below and have fun...


Origins:   Although this message looks like it might be a phishing expedition (a ruse to trick recipients into disclosing sensitive personal data), it appears to be a "joe job" (an attempt to stir up trouble for a particular group by sending out forged mail in their name) instead. The Shadowcrew web site has been the target of multiple joe jobs in the last several months, and this version is quite similar to another joe job which recently targeted the DarkProfits site. Both play on the outrage factor of a site's supposedly openly peddling child pornography, drawing unsuspecting users into the fray by spamming them with phony notices alerting them that their credit cards have been charged for the purchase of such wares from the target site. (Just like the DarkProfits joe job, other versions of this message bore the phone number of an innocent ISP which recipients were directed to call and complain.)

Whether this message was a phishing expedition or a joe job, the pranksters who sent it out haven't really charged anyone's credit card, so the best thing to do is just delete it and move on. (The Shadowcrew web site is known as a clearinghouse for identity theft and credit card fraud, but this message is a ruse to obtain personal information, not a genuine notification that some fraudsters already have it.)

Last updated:   3 February 2004



David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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